Finding Something Special at ISTE 2017

Good karaoke relies on the perfect confluence of factors — the right singer, the right song, the right time of night, the right audience. So when Susan the librarian took the stage for the last song of the night at ISTE 2017’s EdTech Karaoke and absolutely rocked Proud Mary, we knew we were part of something special.

A conference like ISTE requires that same magic. With hundreds of events, thousands of exhibitors and tens of thousands of attendees, figuring out what connections and conversations could lead to the perfect solution for your classroom, school or organization can feel overwhelming. My bad knees told me that three days was plenty, but finding the right tool for your students in the most expansive exhibition hall I’ve ever seen takes time and some pioneer adventurer spirit.

IMPACT: Producing Evidence that Meets ESSA Standards

Working together with educators, administrators, technologists, and researchers, we built LearnPlatform to help education organizations (e.g., schools, districts, states, and education networks) manage, measure, and improve their edtech efforts.  Education organizations across the country use the IMPACT function within LearnPlatform to generate reports that help them understand the costs of their edtech initiatives, the extent to which edtech products are being used, and the impact that the edtech products are having on education outcomes. IMPACT also generates the types of evidence that education organizations need to meet ESSA requirements.

Make Your Browser Smarter: Chrome Extensions & Reporting

This school year has officially ended and educators across the country are starting preparations for the next school year. Turning their focus toward the use of edtech in their schools and districts, administrators and are finding ways to innovate, shifting their attention to data-driven learning and achieving better results for students.  

Managing ever-changing budgets while selecting the edtech tools that get results in the classroom requires great care - and balance. We developed the LearnPlatform for Educators and LearnPlatform for Students Chrome Extensions to offer a fast, free, low effort (install and activate district-wide in less than five minutes) comprehensive view of which products are being used in the classroom and how much.  

Four steps to maximize ROI and determine edtech effectiveness

Determining whether or not spending on edtech tools is driving intended student outcomes is no small task. Figuring out what tools are being used in schools and districts can be a daunting task and determining if there are usage frequency adjustments that could be made to improve efficacy and justify the spending investments being made is difficult absent actual data. As a company built by and for educators, we are no strangers to institutional and procedural challenges when it comes to implementing processes to determine data efficacy processes.

Every school and district has their own challenges and goals. Some schools are figuring out what edtech is being used in their classrooms, while others are looking for a way to make sense of their large datasets and how to use them to see better ROI on their spending. Wherever your organization is, we have a few resources to help you advance and make the most of your edtech spending

Here are four steps to determine efficacy and increase ROI on edtech spending.

Teachers: Share edtech insights. Grade products. Earn gift cards.

5,000+ products — that’s how many edtech programs and tools have been entered into LearnPlatform’s growing product library by educators and administrators. The products can all be sorted based on a wide array of criteria (topic, grade, subject, device type, etc.) but derive their real value from educator reviews based on a comprehensive grading rubric.

These reviews save time and go beyond arbitrary star ratings to give educators tailored insights that improve instruction and outcomes. Teachers sharing their valuable edtech insights and experiences now earn points (redeemable for gift cards) for that above and beyond effort.